One of the points that seems to confuse some people about the uniqueness of man as a being created in the image of God, is the fact that this uniqueness has nothing to do with intelligence or learning. All living animals have intelligence and can learn. A classic example of this is some Barn Swallows in Maplewood, MN, that have learned how to use motion detectors at a Home Depot to provide a safe place to raise their young. The birds have learned to open the double doors at the entry to the store by flying a tight circle in front of the motion detector which opens the doors and allows them to get in. By nesting inside the store the swallows are protected from predators and have no weather to contend with. They even open the doors for other swallows allowing other birds to get through. When an employee locked the doors the swallows pecked him and harassed him until he unlocked the doors.
Steve Kittelson, a DNR wildlife specialist has studied this learning behavior in the swallows and has concluded that deductive reasoning is being used in triggering the motion detectors. The birds seem to have reasoned how to use the detectors to their advantage. It is interesting that the design of the brains of animals allows such learning and adaptations to modern situations to exist. Keith Stomberg, the Home Depot employee who first noticed what the swallows were doing, made a wonderful concluding statement about the birds when he said "The term 'bird brain' has got to be modified."
--our thanks to Jim McGuire for sending this to us
Back to Contents Does God Exist?, MayJun07.